Not everyone can find the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where military clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan have resumed, on the map. Yet the ripple effect of the crisis in the hinterlands of the Caucasus can be felt far and wide.
That kind of connectivity was hardly the case 25 years ago, when the conflict started. For the great powers of East and West, the 1989-1994 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan looked not like a geopolitical challenge but a humanitarian catastrophe: 30,000 people died and 1 million were displaced in the fight over a meager 4,400 sq. km (roughly twice the size of Tokyo).… Seguir leyendo »
There is a monster on the Russian state coat of arms: The double-headed eagle. Traditionally, the unpleasant mutant had been watching over imperial possessions in East and West. Recently, its watch has extended to all cardinal points — not just Europe and Siberia-Pacific, but also the Arctic and the Middle East. This is not an eagle anymore; this is a cuckoo nest on steroids.
Russian expansionism cries “imperial overstretch” so loudly that the usual suspects behind any aggression, such as security concerns, struggle for resources, and consolidation at home, fail to explain it. Consider the latest strike in Syria. According to the Kremlin, in Syria it pursues two goals — first, to bomb Islamic State into the Stone Age, and second, to restore the authority of the “legitimate” regime of Bashar Assad.… Seguir leyendo »